There's no word on the victim's identity.
- Associated Press
Roger Federer will face the winner of the match between Jeremy Chardy and Dan Evans in the Qatar Open next week in his first competition in more than a year. The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who underwent two right knee operations last season, is playing in his first tournament since he reached the semifinals at the Australian Open in February 2020. In Saturday's draw, the 39-year-old Federer has a bye and faces a second-round challenge from either Chardy or Evans, who play Monday.
- Business Insider
The WHO team probing the origins of the coronavirus in Wuhan is scrapping its interim report. Critics say China never gave them a real chance to investigate.
A full report will be published "in coming weeks," the WHO said. The news comes the independence of the investigation continued to be questioned.
Meghan Markle's 'Suits' costar said 'it sickened' him to see the royal family's 'obscene' treatment of her
"It sickened me to read the endless racist, slanderous, clickbaiting vitriol spewed in her direction from all manner of media," Patrick J. Adams wrote.
- Associated Press
Demonstrators from Thailand’s student-led pro-democracy movement held a peaceful protest Saturday outside Bangkok’s Criminal Court to bring public attention to the plight of several of their detained leaders. The movement, a coalition of several groups, was launched last year with demands for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and his government to step down, the constitution to be amended to make it more democratic and the monarchy to be reformed to make it more accountable. There were several protest marches Saturday, but the main one was held by a new faction of the student-led anti-government movement that calls itself REDEM — short for Restart Democracy — whose last demonstration on Feb. 28 ended in disarray amid violence.
- The Independent
Tucker Carlson calls QAnon supporters ‘gentle’ patriots a week after suggesting the conspiracy didn’t exist
‘Do you ever notice how all the scary internet conspiracy theorists – the radical QAnon people ... they’re all kind of gentle people now waving American flags?’
- The Independent
Activist group says Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley ‘deserve most blame for firing up violent mob of Trump supporters that attacked US Capitol and killed five people’
- The New York Times
Democrats spent much of the 2020 presidential primary debating the best way to expand public health insurance. They sparred over whether to enroll everyone in public coverage — the preferred policy of Sen. Bernie Sanders — or to give everyone a choice to do so, the public option plan that President Joe Biden supports. The candidates repeatedly proposed a future in which private insurers play a diminished role in the U.S. health system — or no role at all. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times But the first major legislation of the Biden administration, if it passes in the Senate, moves in the opposite direction: It proposes spending billions to expand private health insurance coverage to millions more Americans. The American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that the House passed last week, would increase government subsidies to health insurers for covering recently laid-off workers and those who purchase their own coverage. The new subsidies do not preclude future legislation that could make public plans more available. Some congressional aides say they are already laying groundwork for the inclusion of a public option plan in a legislative package expected later this year. And the stimulus package does introduce an incentive for states to expand public coverage through Medicaid, though it is unclear whether any states will take it up. The decision to start with subsidizing private insurance shows how it can often be the path of least resistance when legislators want to expand coverage. The changes can slot neatly into a preexisting system and tend to garner support from the health care sector (which benefits). “The politics of expanding public coverage in a way that would shift people to public insurance gets tricky really fast,” said Karyn Schwartz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “There are very concrete losers: the providers who would see their payments go down.” Private health plans cover 176 million Americans, outnumbering the combined enrollment of Medicare and Medicaid. The stimulus plan would probably increase private insurance sign-ups by a few million people with the new subsidies it provides to those buying their plans. The American Rescue Plan spends $34 billion expanding the Affordable Care Act subsidies for two years. The changes would make upper-middle-income Americans newly eligible for financial help to buy plans on the Obamacare marketplaces and would increase the subsidies already going to lower-income enrollees. The stimulus package also subsidizes private health insurance premiums for newly unemployed workers. They typically have the opportunity to purchase their former employers’ health benefits through a federal program called COBRA, which can often be prohibitively expensive because the employer is no longer paying a share of the worker’s premium. The legislation that the House passed would cover 85% of COBRA premiums through September. The Senate plans to bump up the amount to 100%, meaning the government would pay the full cost of premiums. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the more generous Senate version will cost $35 billion. There is not yet an estimate of how many people would gain coverage under the Senate plan, but the Congressional Budget Office did estimate that the original House version would reach 2.2 million former workers. These policies have moved forward easily and with little opposition. The health care industry has generally supported the changes because private health plans typically pay higher prices to doctors and hospitals. Democrats who support expanding public coverage generally describe these changes as low-hanging fruit — the changes they could accomplish quickly to expand coverage. But some progressives have questioned the decision to route patients into private health plans, which will cost the government more because of the high prices they pay for care. “I don’t think this was the most efficient way to do this,” said Pramila Jayapal, a Democratic congresswoman from Washington state, who is the lead sponsor of the House’s Medicare for All bill. She proposed legislation that would have allowed unemployed Americans to transition to Medicare rather than staying on their former employers’ plans. This did not move forward. Nor has a plan from Sens. Tim Kaine and Michael Bennet to create a version of Medicare, which they call “Medicare X,” available to all Americans. In recent years, Democrats have increasingly embraced the idea of a large expansion of public health benefits. The public option would give all Americans the option to sign up for a Medicare-like plan, and a Medicare for All program would move everyone to a government health plan. Polling shows public support for each idea also going up, with the public option tending to rank more favorably than Medicare for All. Those types of public coverage expansions tend to be politically divisive in Washington. They often draw fierce opposition from the health care industry for the same reason supporters like the policy: They would be disruptive and significantly reduce fees paid to hospitals and doctors. A Kaiser Family Foundation report this week estimated that total health spending for those with private insurance would decline by $350 billion in a year if those private plans paid claims at Medicare rates. “You can’t take $350 billion from a system and expect it to look exactly the same,” said Schwartz, an author of the report. “Every time I drive past a hospital, I see a big construction project. You’d probably see less of that.” In coming years, Democrats will probably confront more decisions about how to expand coverage. The new Affordable Care Act subsidies expire at the end of 2022, setting up a figurative cliff in which premiums would go back up if Congress did not act. Democrats could use the moment to make those changes permanent, further solidifying the role of private health insurance. If enrollees find themselves satisfied with their increasingly subsidized plans — if they perceive the coverage as more affordable because the government pays a bigger share of the tab — the urgency to expand public coverage may lessen. “Sometimes the path of least resistance is self-reinforcing,” said Jacob Hacker, a political scientist at Yale who helped develop the public option plan supported by Biden. But legislators could find themselves balking at the price tag. Making the subsidy permanent would most likely cost hundreds of billions. That could push the party to think about the cheaper but more politically challenging route of expanding public plans. Which way the party goes could depend on whether Democrats continue to hold a majority in both chambers of Congress and if the caucus can unite around expanding public coverage in the same way it has around increased spending on private plans. “It’s revealing that they’re sunsetting the expansion of subsidies and not dealing with the longer-term challenge of, how do you finance this?” Hacker said. “Their plan to bolster the ACA is the path of least resistance, but it’s a path that only takes you so far.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- Business Insider
Senate shatters record with longest vote in history as Democrats negotiated the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill
The previous record was held by a June 2019 vote on an amendment to a defense authorization bill that was held open for 10 hours and eight minutes.
- The Telegraph
The EU is to appeal to the US to allow the export of millions of doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine to Europe to make up for its shortfall of supplies, it has emerged. In a bid to boost its stuttering inoculation drive the European Commission plans to raise the matter in transatlantic discussions designed to boost collaboration in the fight against Covid-19. The EU will also ask Washington to ensure the free flow of shipments of vital ingredients needed for its own production of the vaccine. It comes after Italy blocked a shipment of AstraZeneca jabs to Australia, leading to further fears of vaccine hoarding as the EU tries to catch up with both the UK and the USA’s vaccine roll out. The European Commission said in a statement: “We trust that we can work together with the US to ensure that vaccines produced or bottled in the US for the fulfilment of vaccine producers’ contractual obligations with the EU will be fully honoured.” The European bid to obtain supplies of the AstraZeneca jab produced in the US comes as the company struggles to meet its delivery targets for the EU following production problems. AstraZeneca has also said it intends to source half of its planned supply to the EU from elsewhere in the world, but it declined to comment on the EU effort to access its US production. The EU’s attempt to source more supplies follows months of problems with its vaccine roll out, which at one stage saw the jab restricted to under-65s by several European countries such as Germany, which reversed the policy this month. President Joe Biden and Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president, discussed increasing cooperation in the face of the pandemic on Friday. After the two leaders’ call the commission said that the two had a “strong interest” in working together to improve supply chains across the globe. Thierry Breton, EU internal market commissioner, has now been tasked to work with Jeffrey Zients, US co-ordinator of the Covid-19 response, on vaccine supply chain issues.
This week's surprise decision by Saudi Arabia and other top oil producers to broadly stick with output cuts despite rising crude prices was influenced by events in an unexpected place - Italy. "Take a look at what is happening in Milan today," Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud told a news conference on Thursday after a meeting of OPEC and its allies. Restrictions on movement destroyed up to a fifth of oil demand last year and led OPEC and its allies - known as OPEC+ - to make record output cuts.
- Yahoo News Video
Former President Donald Trump intensified his war with the Republican establishment on Thursday by attacking Karl Rove, a longtime Republican strategist who criticized Trump's first speech since leaving office for being long on grievances but short on vision.
Kim Kardashian calls out tabloids for comparing her to a whale and shaming her on a 'weekly basis' during her 1st pregnancy
The 40-year-old "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star reshared several offensive magazine covers about her pregnancy weight gain in 2013.
Denmark's health authority said on Friday it would recommend giving AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine to everyone aged over 18 after a vaccination study from Scotland showed positive results across all ages. Mirroring a similar approach in many other European Union countries, Denmark had previously only recommended giving the shot to under-65s, saying it would wait until more data on efficacy among the elderly is available. The new recommendation follows the release of a large study from Scotland, which showed a markedly reduced risk of a serious course of illness from COVID-19 across all age groups following vaccination, the agency said.
Past US presidents have left a legacy of untruths ranging from the bizarre to the horrifying.
President Biden said Saturday that the Senate passage of his $1.9 trillion COVID relief package means the $1,400 direct payments for most Americans can begin going out later this month. Driving the news: The Senate voted 50-49 Saturday to approve the sweeping legislation. The House is expected to pass the Senate's version of the bill next week before it heads to Biden's desk for his signature.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeThe big picture: As part of the legislation, individuals who make less than $75,000 or heads of households who make up to $112,500 will qualify for the $1,400 payments. Couples who make less than $150,000 will get $2,800.Individuals who make between $75,000 and $80,000 and couples who earn between $150,000 and $160,000 will receive a reduced payment.Parents who qualify will get an additional $1,400 for every child claimed on their most recent tax returns.What he's saying: "Everything that is in this package is designed to relieve the suffering and meet the most urgent needs of the nation and put us in a better position to prevail," Biden said following the Saturday passage of the bill. "This plan will get checks out the door, starting this month to the American people who so desperately need the help," he added. "The resources in this plan will be used to expand and speed up manufacturing and distribution of vaccines so we can get every single American vaccinated sooner rather than later.""I promised the American people that help is on the way. Today, I can say we've taken one more giant step forward in delivering on that promise." The bottom line: "This plan puts us on a path to beating the virus. This plan gives those families who are struggling the most the help and breathing room to get through this moment. This plan gives small businesses in this country a fighting chance to survive," Biden said. More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
A Missouri pastor is reportedly seeking 'professional counseling' after he told women to lose weight and strive to be like Melania Trump for their husbands
Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark of Missouri's Malden First General Baptist Church gushed over an "epic trophy wife" and warned, "don't let yourself go."
Former NBA star Deron Williams says he tried to recruit star players to the Jazz but no one wanted to play in Utah
Deron Williams said he knew he needed help to make the Jazz contenders, but he couldn't find other stars that wanted to join him in Utah.
- The Telegraph
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex 'called all the PR shots', say royal sources despite Oprah interview claims she was gagged
The Duchess of Sussex “called all the shots” when it came to managing her own media, royal sources have said, casting doubt on her claim she could not be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey three years ago. Multiple royal sources have told The Telegraph the 39-year-old former actress “had full control” over her media interviews and had personally forged relationships not only with Ms Winfrey, but other powerful industry figures including Vogue editor Edward Enninful. In a teaser clip released from the Sussexes’s interview with the US chat show host, due to be aired in the US on Sunday, the Duchess said it felt “liberating” to be able to speak and accused the Royal family of effectively gagging her and taking away that choice. “It’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes, I’m ready to talk, to be able to make a choice on your own and be able to speak for yourself,” the Duchess said. In the clip, the Duchess and Ms Winfrey reference the fact that a royal aide was listening in to their first phone call in February 2018, although it is understood the pair had spoken privately before then.
- Business Insider
MSNBC host and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough says there's 'no doubt' that the GOP is 'unsavable'
"You know, my friends and my family members, they all voted for him, and it's been hard for me to process it," Scarborough said of support for Trump.
Kim Kardashian will reportedly stay in family's $60 million mansion as part of divorce from Kanye West
Kim Kardashian West will stay in the minimalist, beige-filled Hidden Hills, California, home she and Kanye West bought in 2014, TMZ reported.